Share Your World — Running Away From Home and My Inner Billy Joel

Share Your World

Once again Melanie is sharing her Share Your World questions with Harry Potter aficionado Roger Shipp. So let’s start with Roger’s questions.

Have you ever driven the wrong way on a one-way street? How did this come about?

Yes I have, but it wasn’t intentional. I wasn’t paying attention.

As a kid, did you ever decide to run away? Did you have a plan? Take a pet? Sandwiches?

Of course I thought about running away from home. What kid didn’t? But that’s as far as I got — thinking about it.

You suddenly found you have a hidden talent for playing a musical instrument. What musical instrument do you hope that accompanies your talent? Any particular song?

I would love to be able to play piano and be as talented at it as, say, Billy Joel or Elton John. But my piano paying talents end at “Chopsticks.”

Do you accessorize with jewelry? Have you had any heirloom jewelry passed down through the generations? Is it more ‘keepsake’ or do you wear it on occasion?

Absolutely not. The only jewelry I wear is my wedding band and my Apple Watch.

And now for Melanie’s ordinary “Muggle” questions:

What ingredients go into YOUR favorite salad?

My favorite salad is a simple Caesar’s salad, which typically is made with romaine lettuce, croutons, shredded Parmesan cheese, and, of course pieces of white meat chicken. I sometimes opt for anchovies. And the whole concoction is topped with Caesar dressing.

If you care to, share something that really irritates you.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr, Mitch McConnell, most GOP members of Congress, evangelical Christians, most Republicans, and anyone who supports Donald Trump.

What are your favorite ‘lounging around the house’ items of clothing? Now that a lot of people ‘lounge around the house’ waiting for the all clear in respect to Covid being shown the door, have those lounging items changed?

Before I get dressed for the day, I will lounge around in sweat pants and a sweatshirt and slippers. After my shower, I lounge around in jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. For the most part, this has been my “lounging” attire since I retired at the end of 2016, so COVID-19 has not altered my typical daily attire one bit. Take that, COVID!

Trump Declares Martial Law in the U.S.

Okay, that’s not true. Not exactly, anyway. But it’s a precursor to what Donald Trump will do if he loses the election.

This showed up in my newsfeed this morning.Trump signed a memo threatening to withhold federal funding from Democratic-run cities that the White House deems “anarchist jurisdictions” because of their handling of ongoing civil unrest that continues to ripple around the country. His motive is clearly to sow division between his non-urban, white political base and the rest of the country. To do that, the Trump memo wants to withhold federal funds from cities that are considering “defunding” their police departments.

The memo instructs the Department of Justice to publish a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” in 14 days. It defines anarchist jurisdictions as “state and local jurisdictions that have permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities.”

So what America cities is Trump going to designated as “anarchist jurisdictions”? Well, congratulations Portland, Seattle, and New York for starters. As the Trump memo noted, “For the past few months, several State and local governments have contributed to the violence and destruction in their jurisdictions by failing to enforce the law, disempowering and significantly defunding their police departments, and refusing to accept offers of federal law enforcement assistance. As a result of these state and local government policies, persistent and outrageous acts of violence and destruction have continued unabated in many of America’s cities, such as Portland, Seattle, and New York.”

Martial law phase one. Just watch what will happen if Trump loses the election.

Blogging Insights — Playing in Traffic

Blogging insights

For this week’s Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know how we feel about blog traffic and stats — the views, likes, comments, and follows — and how much these contribute to the value of our blogging experience. She wants to know…

How important is your blog traffic to you?

First and foremost, I’m a numbers guy. In general, I like statistics in many aspects of life. They can be indicators of how things are going, a way to measure whether something is or is not meeting goals and objectives. And, as such, statistics can be used to make adjustments that can help you to achieve your goals.

With that said, I use my blog traffic stats to give me feedback, to let me know what aspects of my blog are resonating with others. Based upon likes and comments, I can gauge whether or not people are participating in my prompts. I can get a sense for whether readers are growing tired of my political rants. I can see if my flash fiction posts are “scoring” with my readers.

So yes, blog traffic is feedback that helps me understand what is working and what is not working. These stats give me feedback so that I can make informed decisions and make any necessary adjustments.

How often do you check your stats?

Multiple times a day.

Which part of your blog traffic, the views, likes, comments, or follows, is important for you personally? Which of these do you think is most important for your blog?

I think the least valuable stat is followers. WordPress tells me my blog has more than 3,600 followers. But it gets only a fraction of that number of daily visitors. So where are all of these alleged followers, then? Are they “following” a blog that they never visit?

As to views and visitors, I usually get about 2.25 views per visitor each day. For example, on Saturday my blog had 598 views from 264 visitors. I also got 214 likes and 117 comments, or an average of 43 likes per post and 23 comments per post. So far in 2020, I’ve averaged 29 likes and 18 comments per post, so comparatively, Saturday was a decent day from a traffic and stats perspective.

I like getting likes, but I love getting comments.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #84

FFFCWelcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from the Google Hub Photo Frame.For the visually challenged writer, this black and white photo shows what is probably a high school football scoreboard and a single football on the football field.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Doleful

FOWCWelcome to September 21, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “doleful.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.